The Story Continues: Fort Calgary MAKE HISTORY Museum Expansion Project
Calgary’s story is always evolving, and so are we. Our Make History Capital Campaign is bringing new life to Fort Calgary.
Phase I is already complete, with the rehabilitation of the Deane House and upgrades to the surrounding gardens and the restoration of the Hunt House.
Phase II created Marking, an art installation that commemorates the original 1875 Fort and the people who gathered here.
Phase III is about to begin. It will expand the museum, redesign our exhibits, offer new education programming, and create opportunities to broaden our perspective on the stories that shape who we are.
The stories of the Fort Calgary site can be seen from many different angles. Sometimes there are clear vistas and open doors. There are also hidden corners that need some light. We are working with members of the community to illuminate diverse perspectives.
For at least 8,000 years, people have been gathering here to build community.
When you visit Fort Calgary, you stand on the traditional territory of the Blackfoot and the people of Treaty 7, including the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai; the Tsuut’ina; and the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley Nations of the Stoney-Nakoda. This land is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
This is where the North West Mounted Police arrived in 1875 and built the Fort which became the foundation for the city of Calgary. It is where two worldviews collided, forever changing the people and the place.
The North West Mounted Police were part of a national policy to establish Canadian law and order, to stop the whiskey trade, and to make treaties with Indigenous peoples that would open the west to settlement. In just under 150 years, Calgary grew from a tiny outpost to a city of over 1.5 million people.
The new museum will focus on a central theme of confluence and change. This land at the confluence of two rivers is where nature and people have come together and created our shared reality.
Interactive displays and dynamic audio-visual elements will engage visitors in examining our relationship to the natural world, how we understand our complex histories, and how we envision our collective future. A new learning centre will allow us to deliver innovative education programs that respond to curriculum and community needs.
The MAKE HISTORY Museum Expansion and Re-Visioning Project will add a second story to the existing Museum. This expansion will enhance our capacity to tell a more inclusive story, ensuring Fort Calgary remains relevant and meaningful to our local and global guests.
Our re-envisioned exhibits invite visitors to explore the past, understand the present, and imagine what happens next. Our story will include Indigenous perspectives on their ongoing relationships with the land, the importance of the buffalo, and an immersive storytelling space. Exhibit story lines will examine the origins of the city as a North West Mounted Police post, the fortitude required to survive immense challenges, and the signing of Treaty 7.
Our expanded museum galleries will explore how diverse peoples have contributed to making this city and this land the places that they are today. Stunning views over the original Fort site and the downtown skyline will offer opportunities to reflect on how the past shapes what is happening today, and possibilities for tomorrow.
A New Foundation
Fort Calgary’s Commitment to Reconciliation
“Museums and archives, as sites of public memory and national history, have a key role to play in national reconciliation.” – Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015
Fort Calgary will honour our role in the process of reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and other Canadians by striving to present an inclusive story of our past, our present, and our future. In a spirit of understanding, openness, and mutual respect, we are developing new permanent exhibits through a participatory process that involves consultation with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. We will reflect Indigenous perspectives, experience, and knowledge in the sharing of the history of this land and our city.
In coming months, we invite you to join us for a sneak peak at the new vision for Fort Calgary. Enjoy a glimpse into the museum re-design and learn about brand new Exhibits on the horizon. When you visit, we also invite you to consider your own role in reconciliation. And we offer an opportunity to consider 20 Acts of Reconciliation which you can engage in while at Fort Calgary.
Help Us Make History
Help Fort Calgary Make History through our Museum Expansion and Re-Visioning Project. As a civic partner, Fort Calgary receives only partial funding from the City of Calgary. Our sustainability depends on our supporters. Fort Calgary is a registered charity and relies on the support and contributions of the public to continue to tell our story.
Experience. Engage. Connect. Donate.
How You Can Help Us Make History
- Visit the museum
- Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Attend one of Fort Calgary’s special events
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Tell your City Councillor you want to see Fort Calgary’s Make History Project become a reality
- Join us for Sunday Brunch
- Book tickets to our Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
- Pick up a memento from our Gift Shop
- Order a take-out box of our famous house-made scones
- Hold an event, meeting, or celebration at Fort Calgary (We have premier in-house catering too!)
- Make a donation